A product review of two very unusual chocolate bars…
Tayto milk Chocolate bar with cheese & onion crisps
If you’re not sure if you want something sweet or savoury, this is a perfect snack that combines the best of both worlds. The award winning Danish restaurant Noma have featured chocolate covered crisps as a savoury dessert on their menu, using high quality chocolate flavoured with star anise & fennel. However, Tayto are raising awareness of the potato/chocolate combination to the mainstream public (unless you’re one of those people who already enjoy eating a bar of dairy milk with a bag of crisps at the same time). My sister-in-law was lucky enough to buy one of these limited edition Tayto chocolate bars before they were all snapped up. She posted it to my husband, who is rather fond of a bag of Taytos, cheese & onion being his favourite. Unusual as it might sound, sweet and salt have often been paired – salted caramel, sea salt chocolate, salted plums, salty liquorice, and crunchy textures work well with smooth – rice krispie chocolate and sweet shards of mint in after dinner chocolates, so the idea of crushed up crisps in chocolate wasn’t such an ‘out-there’ concept.
Wasabi White chocolate Kitkat
Japan is renowned for their unusual flavours, wasabi kitkat is probably nothing compared with some of the more radical offerings. This was brought back from Osaka Itimi airport by my husband who was returning from a physics conference, and had realised he hadn’t had time to buy me a gift (where are those Tolberones when you need them?) He initially thought he’d bought a pack of green tea flavoured, but we soon discovered that they were actually wasabi… Over the past years, we have become accustom to the flavours of chilli in chocolate, so I could understand the idea of white chocolate & wasabi.
The recognisable Tayto man adorns the wrapper – very much in keeping with their brand identity. I can imagine a good few people scanning the chocolate counter after a night out at the pub, mystified to what the Tayto man was doing there, and I wonder how many people would accidentally buy a Tayto chocolate bar thinking it was a bag of crisps. You never know, it might happen…
A ‘fun size’ dinky version of the western standard kitkat, embellished with a green wasabi plant that could be easily mistaken as green tea for those who are not familiar to what wasabi root looks like as it’s so commonly sold in tubes), There’s even a small panel on the back if ever you were short of paper and needed to write something down, although you’d need to use a biro as any water based ink probably won’t stick.
The crisps were so finely ground up, it was hardly noticeable that there were crisps in this chocolate bar. However, the crunchy texture of the crisps worked quite well with the chocolate. However, the chocolate was very sweet, masking the flavour of the crisps, so I’d only get an aftertaste of cheese & onion from each bite. The chocolate also tasted cheap…
As I was originally expecting green tea, this flavour came to me as a bit of a shock. I wasn’t entirely convinced that I liked these to begin with. However, as I had a pack of 12 bars to munch my way through, I slowly warmed to this unusual flavour combo. To be honest, it was more like a white chocolate kitkat with a very subtle hint of wasabi.
if I was in Ireland and passing by a convenience store on my way home from the pub, I would buy a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar, but not combine the two in one product. I would also finish eating the crisps first before starting on the chocolate, as my eating philosophy says that sweets should finish a meal. If Tayto were to try out another flavour – ready salted, bacon or BBQ flavoured crisps in chocolate might work.
if my local supermarket started selling these, this may make a regular appearance in my lunch box. However, I’m more likely to stick with the existing varieties of 2 finger kitkats, which are bigger and use fairtrade ingredients.